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Library Policies

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries seek to create a welcoming, comfortable, and safe environment for our campus community and visitors. The library is a place for learning and reflection, and our staff supports these activities by providing helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable service. Mutual courtesy and respect among users and staff are essential to promoting the educational mission of the library.

Access and Use

Many Vanderbilt University Libraries are open to the public 7 days a week during designated daytime hours. Hours may vary during summer and academic breaks. A Vanderbilt ID card is required for entrance during the evening hours. Please see library hours for details. Read more.

Circulation and Loan

Borrowing privileges and loan periods vary by user role and specific library policies. See this table to find your role and see which borrowing, renewing, loan, and late fees apply to you. For any questions, please ask a librarian.


The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries depend on gifts and donations to acquire, organize, and make accessible the resources that support research and generate knowledge. We appreciate the support of benefactors who understand how important a world-class library is to the education of students who will one day shape our future. Read more.


Protecting the rights of library users to view and read materials without fear of intrusion, intimidation or reprisal is a core value for all libraries. To safeguard the privacy of individuals in their use of the library, the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries maintain the confidentiality of library records. Student records, including library borrowing records, are additionally protected by federal privacy laws. Read more.

Public Computers

Public computer workstations are available on a first come/first served basis, with priority given to members of the Vanderbilt University community. To ensure access for all Vanderbilt users, selected computers require a log in using the VUNetID. Priority on all workstations is given to academic and research activity. Please be considerate of other users and restrict recreational or casual personal use. Read more.

Guidelines for Using Digital Content

The library provides access to thousands of electronic journals, books, and databases for the non-profit educational use of Vanderbilt University. Use of these resources is governed by copyright law and individual license terms of use. Read more.

Protecting Our Resources

One of our highest goals is to create a setting where our users feel free to pursue research and study without compromising their privacy or safety. Equally important is protecting the physical integrity of our books, journals, and other resources. These materials form the intellectual core of the library, and we endeavor to ensure that users have access to sources of information that are in serviceable condition. To preserve and share materials, circulation policies are in place. In order to protect delicate or one-of-a-kind materials, special guidelines for the handling and use of items may exist in some locations. Food and drinks in covered containers are allowed except in designated areas. Read more.